Working toward an independent Article I immigration court

Immigrants holding Miniature  U.S. flag

Photo by Elias Castillo on Unsplash

As we move forward under the current administration it becomes even more apparent that one of our greatest needs is an independent Article I immigration court.

Currently the Immigration courts function as an arm of the Trump administration. To make matters worse they are underfunded, lacking in resources and face a mountain of cases without enough Judges and clerks to process them. These crucial crucial checkpoints are often overlooked and underfunded. They are key to proper process of immigration law. Only through the establishment on an independent court will they have the resources needed to properly evaluate each case and give the applicant and the citizens of the United States the proper due in the circumstances of each case.

There are currently 542,000 cases and only 292 immigration judges to process them. It is estimated that 40 percent of people in our courts do not have attorneys to represent them. Judges are being physically moved to fulfill the administration’s executive order to present a show of force at the border. These judges are given little notice and are leaving behind cases that are ready to be tried only to pick up in their new location cases…that are not ready to be tried.

Deportation mandates from the current administration only further show that this is a great need for the people in our country. We only need to look at the August 8th press release by the Department of Justice to see that they helped to prove exactly that point. This press release cited that there had been a 30% increase in the number of people ordered deported by immigration courts under the Trump Administration.

The Immigration Judges Union (the National Association of Immigration Judges) has fought for creation of an independent Article I immigration court. They have seen that the current deficiencies have been complicated by political concerns. Moving the courts into an independent space would allow them to work beyond political pressures and handle the cases in an unbiased manner to gain the just result for the applicant and the people of the United States.